There’s nothing like a gathering of more than a thousand global entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley, headlined by President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, to bring out the announcements of new funds and initiatives. The 7th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit is in full swing at Stanford University, so we are kicking off this week’s #Dealflow with a slew of new impact commitments.
Government-backed energy. The US Department of Energy pledged $16 million in funding to spur the advancement of energy tech from the private sector and its own National Laboratories. The so-called Technology Commercialization Fund is being channeled into 12 labs that have collectively partnered with 52 private sector players, including those at the start-up level.
Agriculture and conservation. Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is planning to put $10 million in grant funding into agricultural technologies that support conservation. They agency will issue a request for proposals for projects on data analytics, pay-for-success programs and from entrepreneurs later this year.
Workforce diversity. Three organizations announced financial commitments to promoting diversity and workforce inclusivity in response to President Obama’s call to action at last year’s White House Demo Day for start-ups. The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, a state pension, is allocating $220 million to private market managers that are women- and minority-owned, and plans to follow with an additional $500 million in the next two years.
More from the Global Entrepreneurship Summit
500 Startups announced a new $25 million microfund that will invest in over 200 black- and Latino-run tech start ups….The DRK Foundation is raising a $65 million fund to support 100 early stage, social enterprises tackling healthcare, education, poverty and other challenges….The Case Foundation is planning a two-year, $1 million investment initiative to back women and minority entrepreneurs, starting with a partnership with JumpStart Inc. to launch a $10 million seed fund for minority-run tech start-ups.
In other deal news…
Billionaire investors. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has made its first investment, leading a $24 million Series B round in Andela, a start-up that trains Africa’s engineers for tech jobs. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a $1-billion-per-year commitment to impact investing that was launched by the Facebook founder and his wife in December. Its first commitment will be used to help Andela open a third campus, outside of its two existing sites in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya, where it offers a six-month training program for engineers and supports job placement with technology organizations.
Health-tech. Solera Health closed the second part of a $7 million Series A round, with investments from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Sandbox Industries and SJF Ventures. The company has built a preventative healthcare marketplace for the 86 million US adults — 35 percent of the adult population — that are at risk for type 2 diabetes. The network’s focus is on consolidating and improving access to programs nationwide that help members make lifestyle changes. Solera raised its first $3 million of the round in November 2015.
Solar energy in Africa. Paris-based Energy Access Ventures has made a $2 million investment in PEG, a Ghana-based solar pay-as-you-go company. EAV is a new impact fund focused on improving access to electricity in Africa. The PEG investment represents EAV’s second investment. For PEG, EAV’s $2 million led the second part of $7.6 million Series A round, which also included investments from Blue Haven Initiative, Engie Rassmbleurs d’Energie and Investisseurs & Partenaires. The round will be used to expand PEG’s operations around Ghana, which currently support 10,000 semi-urban and rural customers in seven regions.
Retail investing. ImpactAssets has invested $8.3 million though its retail Impact Investment Notes. The notes are a way for financial advisors to make impact investments on behalf of their clients. ImpactAssets’ current lending through the Notes is split between microfinance ($4.8 million) and agriculture ($3.5 million), with the capital supporting low-income finance institutions and Latin American farming cooperatives respectively.
DealFlow is ImpactAlpha’s weekly roundup of what, where, how and why impact capital flowed each week… See more impact deals in ImpactAlpha’s DealFlow section. And send your deal news to [email protected].
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